I wrote:

> > Finally, perhaps this is something we can all agree on. I was
> discussing
> > this with my wife yesterday. When teaching our children about the USA's
> > bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, she told our children that
> this was one
> > of the worst things any country has ever done to another country. Would
> > everyone agree that these bombings were blatantly immoral atrocities and
> > that those who commanded and carried out these bombings were
> guilty of mass
> > murder?

Tim responded:

> Well no, it is understanding that if the bombs were not dropped
> (causing the Japanese to surrender) the war would have continued
> for some time and hundreds of thousands or millions of Japanese
> and Americans would have been killed. The bombs might have killed
> a couple 100,000 but the bombs ended the war saving possibly millions.

This is unbelievable. I am absolutely shocked. I thought that since this is on such a basic, fundamental moral level, this would at least be something that all of us on this list could agree on. I was wrong. Do you really know what you're saying here? It sure looks like you've taken the time to think this out. Your rationale is chilling. The civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- the men, women, boys, and girls -- were not about to kill Americans, were not threatening to kill Americans, were not taking up arms against Americans, did not have weapons of mass destruction, were not part of the military defending the Japanese government, and were not fighting against Americans in any way. Yet the United States military DELIBERATELY and INTENTIONALLY killed the men, women, boys, and girls of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We're not talking about "collateral damage" here in which a military installation was targeted and the civilians near it were killed. We're talking about the TARGETING of civilians. (This also goes for Dresden, which was full of German refugees, mainly peasants from Silesia fleeing the Red Army.) And what is your justification for the killing of hundreds of thousands of men, women, boys, and girls, who were not threatening us in any way? The numbers game!!! This blows me away. "The bombs might have killed a couple 100,000 but the bombs ended the war saving possibly millions." So it's okay to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians because possibly millions of lives would be saved?? The ends justify the means?? It's okay to kill some people (we're not talking about military here) so that more people than those who were killed would be saved? This is "greater good" moral relativism at its worst. It's okay to kill one person to save the lives of two people? (Again, I emphasize, when I talk about "person," I'm not talking about a military person or a person who is about to kill you or is threatening to kill you. I'm talking about the average person on the street who has no intention of harming or killing you.) It's okay to kill ten people to save the lives of 100 people? It's okay to kill 10,000 people to save the lives of 100,000 people? I am stunned that you would even think such a thing. And you don't even KNOW that millions would have been saved! You justify the killing of hundreds of thousands of people because it is POSSIBLE that millions would have been saved!!

By making this your baseline, you are saying that everything above that baseline is justified, as long as it meets your criterion of possibly saving more than you killed. Your arguments for self-defense have just gone by the wayside. They are now meaningless. You justify the killing of human beings -- human beings who are NOT threatening your life or the life of Americans -- in order that more human beings would possibly be saved. With this as your baseline, you are now justifying the killing of unborn babies in order to "harvest" the stem cells in order that millions of lives might be saved. The lives of millions of people with Parkinson's and diabetes and cancer will possibly be saved by the stem cells of unborn babies. The killing of a couple hundred thousand unborn babies could possibly save MILLIONS of lives. You have justified the murder of unborn babies. And what about this scenario: Suppose there is a person who needs a heart transplant, another who needs a kidney transplant, and another who needs a liver transplant. Why not take a person off the street and shoot him, then take his organs and use them to save the lives of the three people? You have killed one to save three. That's the numbers game. And it is utterly repugnant.

But bombs are such long-distance killing. Let's bring it down to face-to-face killing. Using your numbers rationale for the slaughter of men, women, boys, and girls in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you would then have to defend the following: What if U.S. soldiers invaded Nagasaki and rounded up the civilian population. Then the soldiers picked out all the young boys, 10 and younger, lined them up, and began systematically shooting them, one by one, in the head, until the government of Japan surrendered. Suppose Japan then surrenders because it cannot take any more killing. YOU MUST JUSTIFY THIS HEINOUS ACT, because, after all, this ended the war, and MILLIONS of people were possibly saved by just the shooting of a FEW THOUSAND (or even a few hundred) boys. Or how about this? How about if the U.S military took entire families from Nagasaki and put them in gas chambers or ovens in order to make the Japanese government surrender? YOU MUST JUSTIFY THIS HEINOUS ACT, because, after all, this ended the war, and MILLIONS of people were possibly saved by killing a few thousand families in the gas chambers or ovens. Or how about this? How about if the U.S soldiers systematically RAPED the women of Nagasaki until the government of Japan surrendered? YOU MUST JUSTIFY THIS HEINOUS ACT, because, after all, this ended the war, and MILLIONS of people were possibly saved by the rape of a few thousand women, and this didn't even involve any killing at all. And I could go on. You could justify lying, rape, torture, ANYTHING, as long as it is possible that millions of lives were saved. This takes my breath away, it is so repulsive.

Using this kind of "numbers" reasoning, the oppressive governments are justified in killing their citizens, as long as more citizens would be saved. Using your reasoning, the government of China was justified in killing the students in Beijing, because if the students were allowed to continue to protest, this would foment a revolution, and millions of Chinese would possibly be killed in a revolution. Thus, the killing of a few hundred students resulting in the possible saving of millions of lives. Same for the government of Iraq's killing of the Shiites and Kurds. A few thousand Shiites and Kurds killed possibly saved the lives of hundreds of thousands who would be killed in a revolution (at least that's what Saddam Hussein thought at the time). Tim, you'd be a great spokesman for these regimes. Also, all kinds of terrorism can be justified using the "numbers" reasoning.

Who are you (and who is anyone) to say that the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who were slaughtered at Nagasaki and Hiroshima and Dresden were less valuable than the millions of lives that were possibly saved? Who are you (and who is anyone) to play God? Where is the justification for this kind of killing in the Bible?

I understand the reasoning behind self-defense: killing someone who is about to kill you or your family. I even understand the reasoning behind defending one's own country: killing those who are about to kill people in your country. But I DO NOT understand the reasoning behind killing people from another country who have NO INTEREST OR DESIRE to harm you, your family, or your country. It goes against every moral fiber of my being. It is a moral outrage. And I DO NOT understand the reasoning behind DEFENDING those who would engage in such slaughter. It, too, is a moral outrage.

I thought we on this list were in agreement regarding basic morals. Now I'm thinking I have been naive. Does anyone else defend the deliberate, intentional killing of non-threatening civilians? Does anyone else defend the massacres at Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and Dresden? Am I all alone here in my outrage?

Really, with this kind of argument made for war, there really is no more to say on the subject. OF COURSE all American wars would be justified using this kind of reasoning. The recent war in Iraq was NOTHING compared to the atrocities at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden. I really don't have anything more to say on the subject of war if the killing of non-threatening civilians is the baseline for justification for war.

And to you, Tim: I'm hoping that you just did not think all of this through and were making a hasty statement. I ask you to repent of your justification of this immorality.

Where to go from here? What other action do I need to take? I don't know. I need some time to think about this and talk with other brothers. If any of you would like to help me on this, I would appreciate it. I'm just in a state of shock right now. I will try to send a couple pictures to smartgroups: one from Dresden, the other from Nagasaki.



Pasted from net:

William Daniel Leahy, Admiral, Chief of Staff to President Roosevelt:

<<...the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.
"Bomb" is the wrong word to use for this new weapon. It is not a bomb. It is not an explosive. It is a poisonous thing that kills people by its deadly radioactive reaction, more than by the explosive force it develops.

These new concepts of "total war" are basically distasteful to the soldier and sailor of my generation.... These new and terrible instruments of uncivilized warfare represent a modern type of barbarism not worthy of Christian man.>>
(I was There 1950 pp. 439ff. in Fogelman 30f)

U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey; established 1944 by USA Secretary of War Stimson:

<<...it is the survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.>> (pp9-13 in Wilds, 83-87 in Fogelman)

Hanson W. Baldwin (Former Naval officer, military analyst and journalist):

<<...We were ... twice guilty. We dropped the bomb at a time when Japan already was negotiating for an end of the war but before those negotiations could come to fruition. We demanded unconditional surrender, then dropped the bomb and accepted conditional surrender ... the Japanese would have surrendered, even if the Bomb had not been dropped, had the Potsdam Declaration included our promise to permit the Emperor to remain on his imperial throne.>> in Great Mistakes of the War Harper, 1950, 88-114 (Fogelman 95ff.)

Chester W. Nimitz, Admiral, 25 January 1946:

<<The atomic bomb merely hastened a process already reaching an inevitable conclusion...>> (Baldwin 94, Fogelman 97)

Admiral Noel Gaylor (then) Pacific Commander in Chief:

<<however much it may be justified in the aftermath as military necessity--incorrectly--[the attack] was nonetheless genocide.>> (Linenthal 16; testimony to the National Air and Space Museum Research Advisory Committee October 1988).

Minimal summary: did the bombs hasten the end of the war?

Yes, in the sense that by strengthening the hand of Hirohito, Togo, and Suzuki, over against the hawks in the high command, the capitulation may have been facilitated, may have come a few weeks sooner than otherwise, and the capitulation made more abject, so that the occupation would go more smoothly.

Certainly No, in the sense of deciding that the war would end. The surrender process was already running, and would have run faster if Potsdam had promised that the surrender could be conditional, with Japan retaining the Emperor, which in fact the Allied authorities wanted and did ultimately accept.

Yes, in the sense that US contingency plans for invasion several months later were in the works, so that the US soldiers and sailors who knew that they were in those plans could feel that they were saved from that future jeopardy. Prisoners of war in Japanese camps credited the Bomb with the rapid collapse of Japan, without which some thought they might be killed by their jailers.

No, in the sense that in view of the total economic exhaustion of Japan that vision of a full-scale invasion would never have been needed. No in the sense that even if that invasion in November 1945 had been needed, the estimate of its cost in lives was 50,000, and not the worst-case estimate twenty times that large which came up in the later literature(Stimson in Fogelman 16). "The source of the large numbers used after the war by Truman, Stimson and Churchill to justify the use of the atomic bomb has yet to be discovered... The large estimates first appeared in their postwar memoirs"
(Skates p. 77)


In 1941 Charles Portal of the British Air Staff advocated that entire cities and towns should be bombed. Portal claimed that this would quickly bring about the collapse of civilian morale in Germany. Air Marshall Arthur Harris agreed and when he became head of RAF Bomber Command in February 1942, he introduced a policy of area bombing (known in Germany as terror bombing) where entire cities and towns were targeted.

One tactic used by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force was the creation of firestorms. This was achieved by dropping incendiary bombs, filled with highly combustible chemicals such as magnesium, phosphorus or petroleum jelly (napalm), in clusters over a specific target. After the area caught fire, the air above the bombed area, become extremely hot and rose rapidly. Cold air then rushed in at ground level from the outside and people were sucked into the fire.

In 1945, Arthur Harris decided to create a firestorm in the medieval city of Dresden. He considered it a good target as it had not been attacked during the war and was virtually undefended by anti-aircraft guns. The population of the city was now far greater than the normal 650,000 due to the large numbers of refugees fleeing from the advancing Red Army.

On the 13th February 1945, 773 Avro Lancasters bombed Dresden. During the next two days the USAAF sent over 527 heavy bombers to follow up the RAF attack. Dresden was nearly totally destroyed. As a result of the firestorm it was afterwards impossible to count the number of victims. Recent research suggest that 135,000 were killed but some German sources have argued that it was over 250,000. Whatever the figure, it was probably greater than the 51,509 British civilians killed by the Luftwaffe during the whole of the Second World War and the 70,000 immediate deaths at Hiroshima after the dropping of the first atom bomb on 6th August 1945.

Alexander McKee, Dresden 1945: the Devil's Tinderbox (1982)

<<From a firestorm there is small chance of escape. Certain conditions had to be present, such as the concentration of high buildings and a concentration of bombers in time and space, which produced so many huge fires so rapidly and so close together that the air above them super-heated and drew the flames out explosively. On the enormous scale of a large city, the roaring rush of heated air upwards developed the characteristics and power of a tornado, strong enough to pick up people and suck them into the flames.>>

Margaret Freyer was living in Dresden during the firestorm created on 13th February, 1945.

<<The firestorm is incredible, there are calls for help and screams from somewhere but all around is one single inferno.

To my left I suddenly see a woman. I can see her to this day and shall never forget it. She carries a bundle in her arms. It is a baby. She runs, she falls, and the child flies in an arc into the fire.

Suddenly, I saw people again, right in front of me. They scream and gesticulate with their hands, and then - to my utter horror and amazement - I see how one after the other they simply seem to let themselves drop to the ground. (Today I know that these unfortunate people were the victims of lack of oxygen). They fainted and then burnt to cinders.

Insane fear grips me and from then on I repeat one simple sentence to myself continuously: "I don't want to burn to death". I do not know how many people I fell over. I know only one thing: that I must not burn.>>

Members of the RAF bombing crews became increasingly concerned about the morality of creating firestorms. Roy Akehurst was a wireless operator who took part in the raid on Dresden.

<<It struck me at the time, the thought of the women and children down there. We seemed to fly for hours over a sheet of fire - a terrific red glow with thin haze over it. I found myself making comments to the crew: "Oh God, those poor people." It was completely uncalled for. You can't justify it.>>

After the war Robert Saunby, Deputy Air Marshal at Bomber Command, commented on the bombing of Dresden.

<<That the bombing of Dresden was a great tragedy none can deny. It is not so much this or the other means of making war that is immoral or inhumane. What is immoral is war itself. Once full-scale war has broken out it can never be humanized or civilized, and if one side attempted to do so it would be most likely to be defeated. That to me is the lesson of Dresden.>>

Winston Churchill, memorandum to Air Marshall Arthur Harris (28th March 1945)

<<It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, should be reviewed. Otherwise we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land. We shall not, for instance, be able to get housing material out of Germany for our own needs because some temporary provision would have to be made for the Germans themselves. I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives, such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction.>>


The Ethics of War: A Look at American Actions in World War II from a Moral Perspective by Mark Zarella


When World War II ended in 1945, most of Europe lay in ruins. Both the Nazis and the Soviets left much of Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic states completely destroyed. Once prosperous, many major German cities had been ravaged by Allied fire-bombings. Two Japanese cities were cremated from atomic blasts. Worst of all, the Nazi death camps had consumed the lives of over six million Jews. In total, fifty million lives were ended by the war.

America had officially stepped into a warring Europe as the "great protector" a few years prior to the end of the war, nearly 25 years after stepping in the first time to "make the world safe for democracy." The United States, along with the rest of the allied forces, defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and forced an unconditional surrender that some argue saved Europe and Asia from a perpetual war and the inhabitants of those countries from years of grotesque death, political and economic instability, and wanton destruction. But were the results as wonderful as some historians seem to indicate? And more importantly, were the means by which the results came about morally justified?

The Politics of War

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and never was this more evident than during World War II. America engaged in alliances, backroom deals, and military actions that would (or at least, should) give us pause today.

First and foremost, one of our closest Allies was communist dictator and mass-murderer, Josef Stalin. This was particularly ironic since the attempt to liberate Europe meant placing much of Eastern Europe under Soviet dominion, mostly with Roosevelt's approval and military backing. As bad as our arch-nemesis, Adolf Hitler, was, it can be argued that Stalin was much worse. Compared to the approximately 20 million deaths that Hitler was responsible for, Stalin's total numbered well over 40 million; Stalin's relentless invasions of sovereign nations were no less brutal than Hitler's; Stalin's economic and political oppression of his own people was by far more devastating than Hitler's (it's well documented that even much of Stalin's army despised and feared their leader and what he had done to their countrymen and families). Yet despite all of this, Roosevelt admired "Uncle Joe" Stalin and plunged America into an alliance that saw money, warplanes, military might, and support pledged to one of the most ruthless dictators in history.

Was such a strong and resolute alliance with Josef Stalin a necessary evil? Many historians think so. Some feel that it was necessary to combat Hitler's advancement in Europe, and that ultimately it saved American lives.

But from a moral standpoint, does aiding one evil in order to combat another make the United States government an accomplice in Stalin's wrongdoings? More specifically, does the forced repatriation by the United States of Stalin's armies that escaped, who had denounced both communism and Nazism, and as a result faced a certain death mean that the United States was complicit in the murder of these men? Does the foreign aid given to Stalin specifically for his war efforts, which was then used to invade much of Eastern Europe, often raping and pillaging along the way, place any guilt on the American politicians that authorized the contributions?

My answer: yes. Not only did American politicians knowingly pour money and backing into the communist regime, they directed American troops to assist in much of the effort. The results of the Yalta Conference (and even U.S. policy beforehand) supported and offered assistance in the forced expulsion of millions of German civilians from Poland and Czechoslovakia, which led to over two million deaths and horrible brutalities against the German women (particularly by Russian soldiers); and forced repatriation of Russians by American and British forces (as mentioned above). This was U.S. policy, presumably aimed towards remaking the map of Europe post-WWII, but in effect causing the deaths of millions after the war had ended.

Killing Innocents

Most Americans today believe that intentionally killing civilians in battle is morally wrong. Part of the rationale for this concept is utilitarian - if one side begins doing it, the other side might very well follow suit. But another rationale involves fundamental moral principles. A civilized people recognizes that oftentimes it is important to maintain a sense of moral perspective even within the horrors of war. Thus, even though barbarians on the other side might begin torturing, mutilating, and raping their prisoners, a civilized nation would refuse to follow their lead.

This has been held in many societies to be a universal rule of warfare - a moral viewpoint that, in order to discern between "right" and "wrong" forms of warfare, bred the terms "terrorism" and "collateral damage", usually referring to the intentional killing of innocents for the purpose of evoking terror and the unintentional killing of innocents as an unfortunate byproduct of strategic military action, respectively.

Does the contribution of war materials, money, and military and political support to a regime that participates in the "wrong" type of warfare make the contributor guilty as well? And if so, to what extent?

If we consider the intentional and informed participation in any immoral act to also be immoral, then it's only logical that actively and knowingly contributing to or assisting in a military effort that we consider immoral is also immoral. Therefore, if conclusive evidence can be presented that demonstrates that American politicians actively and knowingly supported or engaged in the intentional killing of civilians, an act that not only we as Americans abhor but the international community condemns, then it can be said that these very politicians committed immoral acts. Thus, American participation in repatriation and the forced expulsion of innocent German civilians, both of which led to certain death, torture, rape, or enslavement, was wrong. As will be illustrated next, other American military action during the "good war" was also wrong.

Reconsidering the Celebrated Victories

During World War II, the American military engaged in a number of questionable acts all in an attempt to defeat a brutal tyrant. Perhaps the most notable Allied attack on Germany was the firebombing of Dresden, an act of pure savagery planned at Stalin's request ahead of his advancing army. It was not aimed at military installations surrounding the city, nor was it an attack on military personnel. According to Churchill, they were "mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive…simply for the sake of increasing the terror." Though it was largely a British raid, America's role was to gun down people fleeing the burning city the morning after.

Many historians dismiss the Dresden bombings as part of the "context" of war; others simply claim that it was suitable revenge. However, if it's an action that consists of the intentional killing of innocents for the purpose of evoking terror, then whatever justification is produced does not change the motive or the reality of the action. As Simon Jenkins writes in The Failure of America's Foreign Wars (Future of Freedom Foundation):

"Dresden cannot be excused as 'balancing' Auschwitz or Coventry or German punitive massacres of villages in the Balkans. That demeans the Holocaust and reduces Nazi atrocities to a level moral playing field of tit for tat."

Dresden was not the only instance in World War II in which civilians were intentionally killed for the purpose of evoking terror. Japan also participated in such acts in China; Germany at Coventry; Russia in Poland. But America participated as well. The atomic bombs that U.S. military forces dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are estimated to have killed more than 200,000 Japanese, including women and children. There was no genuine military purpose for choosing these targets, aside from simply killing a large number of Japanese civilians in the hope of bringing about a quick surrender by the Japanese government. In other words, the United States military intentionally killed innocents for the purpose of evoking terror, i.e. committed an act of "terrorism". The justifications are numerous, but most center around the notion that the act saved the lives of several thousand American soldiers by shortening the war. However, if it indeed saved American soldiers' lives, it did so at the expense of people who didn't even have a desire to commit themselves to combat - perhaps even because they didn't approve of their government's actions.

Tim wrote:

> Now, with this understanding would I call the bombings
> "blatantly immoral atrocities"? No!

So, then, you also could not call the killing of unborn babies for the purpose of life-saving research a blatant immoral atrocity. You could not call it an immoral atrocity if American soldiers shot boys one by one in the head until Japan surrendered. You could not call it an immoral atrocity if they raped Japanese women until Japan surrendered.

> I've always had a problem with the lies Rahab told about the two
> spies. So I
> can't ever remember believing the end justified the means. Do you believe
> Rahab was sinning when she lied? If so, why was it considered a
> great act of
> faith?

This is an issue I encountered a long time ago, before I knew any of you guys. In fact, this issue was one of the issues that caused a few families to leave a church.

ALL lying is sin. YES, Rahab was sinning when she lied. It was NOT considered a great act of faith. Again, I hope you just haven't thought about this much. You are saying that a person's LYING was considered a great act of faith! Think about it! You are even saying that THE BIBLE says that a person's LYING was considered a great act of faith!

What does the Bible say about Rahab's good works?

"By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those disobeying, having received the spies with peace" (Hebrews 11:31).

"But in the same way Rahab the harlot was also justified outside of works, having received the messengers, and sending them out by another way" (James 2:25).

Where in these verses does it say that her LYING was included in her good works, her acts of faith? Where? NOWHERE. You will not find it. OF COURSE you will not find it, because the Bible never contradicts itself. Lying is sin, period. It is sin even when it is committed by a woman of faith whose other works during the same time frame were evidences of her salvation. These verses DO NOT say or even imply the horrendous notion that lying is considered a great act of faith!

So, I would like to know from the other members of this list -- how many of you consider the deliberate, intentional killing of non-threatening civilians such as the bombings of Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and Dresden to be immoral, and how many of you do not consider these acts to be immoral? And is this an issue worth fighting over? Is it a basic moral issue over which Christians cannot disagree? What if someone on this list had said that adultery is not immoral? Is this issue on par with something like that?


<<What I was saying is that I would not call killing a small percentage of Japanese people (who were prepared and willing to kill us) in order to save a large percentage of Japanese people (not to mention the Americans), "a blatantly immoral atrocity".>>

You yourself believe that it is okay to be prepared and willing to kill people who invade our country or our city. Thus, the Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in being prepared and willing to kill Americans who invade their country, are JUSTIFIED in their position, according to you. Yet slaughtering them you would not consider a blatantly immoral atrocity, based partly on the fact that they "were prepared and willing to kill us." What if Japan had dropped an A-bomb on Atlanta? Most of the people of Atlanta would be "prepared and willing to kill" invaders from Japan, so would that keep you from saying that the Japanese government had committed a blatantly immoral atrocity? I still cannot get past the fact that you do not consider the bombings to be immoral. And I am wondering if your position is equivalent to someone who defends other kinds of blatantly immoral behavior.

> I pointed out that the Japanese
> civilians were willing to fight to the death rather surrender.

The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki WERE NOT about to kill Americans or threatening to kill Americans. SO WHAT if they would have defended their cities to the death if they were invaded! Would they have been WRONG for defending their cities to the death?

You wrote:

> I think it would be analogous to killing a
> group of brainwashed terrorists who were about to blow up a city.

You really think this is analogous???!!!!!!!

The brainwashed terrorists were an IMMEDIATE THREAT to a city. Where were the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki IMMEDIATELY THREATENING Americans? Where were they about to do something to Americans?

By using this analogy, I think you ARE justifying the slaughter of the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After all, wouldn't you justify the killing of those brainwashed terrorists in order to save the city that was about the be blown up?

> Therefore it
> appears that they would die one way or the other. So the U.S. military was
> forced to make a choice which way. Now how do the people of
> Altanta compare
> to the Japanese? I think the people of Altanta would surrender rather die.

Okay, so if the people of Atlanta would surrender rather than die defending their city, would it be a blatantly immoral atrocity to bomb Atlanta?

> I did not say that I did or didn't consider it moral or immoral.
> I have said
> that I would not call it "a blatant immoral atrocity".

Okay. Was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki immoral?

More questions:

Has the U.S. military ever committed a blatantly immoral atrocity? If so, tell me what it is.

I put forth the following scenario: Suppose there is a person who needs a heart transplant, another who needs a kidney transplant, and another who needs a liver transplant. Would it be a blatantly immoral atrocity to kill a person on the street and take his organs and use them to save the lives of the three people? What if that person on the street was willing to defend himself to the death?

Is any country's military wrong in defending their country against invaders? Was the Iraqi military wrong in defending their country against the American invaders?


I wrote:

> I put forth the following scenario: Suppose there is a person who needs a
> heart
> transplant, another who needs a kidney transplant, and another who needs a
> liver transplant. Would it be a blatantly immoral atrocity to kill a
> on the street and
> take his organs and use them to save the lives of the three people?

You responded:

<<I think the only way that might be analogous to the Japanese bombings is if
the person on the street was going to die anyway, whether he was killed for
his organs or not. And even then I wouldn't concede it was a
proper analogy.>>

So suppose there's a person in a nursing home whose prognosis is that he is going to die within six months. Suppose also that this person would fight to the death if someone tried to kill him. Would it be a blatantly immoral atrocity to kill such a person and take his organs and use them to save the lives of the three people?

How about abortion? Would it be a blatantly immoral atrocity to kill unborn babies and use their stem cells for research that could save the lives of millions? How about using the stem cells of those already aborted for other reasons?

How about euthanasia? Would it be a blatantly immoral atrocity to kill an elderly person who is dying of cancer? Would it be a blatantly immoral atrocity to kill a person with mental retardation who cannot do anything for himself? Would it be a blatantly immoral atrocity to kill a person who is in a coma and on life support?

How about killing to stop uprisings? Was it a blatantly immoral atrocity for the Iraqi government to kill the Kurds who rose up against the government? Was it a blatantly immoral atrocity for the Chinese government to kill the students in Beijing who rose up against the government?

Psa 11:5 Jehovah tries the righteous, but His soul hates the wicked and the one loving violence.


I don't know how many of you are familiar with the PBS program "Ethics In America," but I just got finished watching a program on ethics and morality in war, and so much has welled up inside me because of this, I must let it out. It was a panel discussion that included some of the biggest ex-military names, including William Westmoreland and Brent Scowcroft. This is some of what the military considers to be moral actions during war:

(1) A military general setting up a decoy by commanding a platoon to go take a hill, knowing full well that most or all of the soldiers would be killed, and justifying this by saying that there is a "greater good" of saving more lives in the long run by this "tactical maneuver." And even when the platoon lieutenant (who does not know he is part of a decoy), seeing the slaughter of his own soldiers, calls for reinforcements, the general does not tell him that he is part of a decoy and does not send in reinforcements, but tells the lieutenant to keep doing what he's doing, knowing that the people in this platoon would be slaughtered for the "greater good."

(2) As the slaughter is taking place, one of the soldiers sees the futility of it all, sees his fellow soldiers being killed left and right, and refuses to go forward, and the lieutenant shoots the soldier of his own platoon in the head and intentionally kills him, all for the "greater good."

In both cases, the military leader (the general in the first case, the lieutenant in the second case) has MURDERED his own troops for the "greater good." The military people on the panel used the same kinds of "numbers" justification that we've heard before: "A thousand troops might have to be sacrificed so that possibly tens of thousands would be saved."

This is SICKENING. This is DISGUSTING. Anyone who would justify these kinds of actions is SCUM. I want NOTHING TO DO with ANYONE who would defend these actions. And these actions happen and have happened TIME AFTER TIME in WAR AFTER WAR. It's part of war. It's part of who the military is and what it does. It is REPULSIVE and ABOMINABLE.

To God alone be the glory,


Tim wrote:

<<I think it would be analogous to a woman who is pregnant with eight babies and her doctor tells her there is no way all eight will survive, that only four can survive, that if he doesn't abort or kill four all eight will die. Marc I assume you would say she should let all eight die, and I suspect the rest of you agree. I'm sorry but I'm not convinced that's what should be done. >>

I am ABSOLUTELY APPALLED. You are NOT CONVINCED that it is wrong to kill four children so that four will survive. THIS is EXACTLY what I've been talking about. THIS is what the "hypotheticals" have been about (that Mike dislikes so much). I am so disgusted and repulsed, I just ... this is just unbelievable. Is everyone as appalled, disgusted, and repulsed as I am?

Tim wrote:

<<I have not said that it was or was not mass murder, and I have made that clear, but Marc continues to misrepresent what I have said.>>

I have NOT misrepresented what you have said. You have JUST PROVEN that I have REPRESENTED YOU CORRECTLY. You are NOT CONVINCED that it was wrong to kill hundreds of thousands of Japanese. You do NOT believe that it was murder, just as you do NOT believe that killing the four babies is murder. You have PROVEN MY POINT. You are JUSTIFYING MURDER.

Tim, this is as serious as it gets. You are an immoral person. I want nothing to do with you. Mike, you can accuse me of divisiveness and schism all you want. This is something I WILL NOT BACK DOWN ON. Tim, you are in need of repentance. REPENT! TURN FROM YOUR WICKED, FILTHY WAYS!


" He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, even both of them are disgusting to Jehovah. " (Proverbs 17:15)

Tim, when I said that I want nothing to do with you, I want to be clear on what I meant: I want no fellowship with you, because you are a depraved man. You are a moral relativist. If God grants you repentance (which I hope He does!), then I would be happy to fellowship with you.

Note: With the introduction of the analogy of the killing of babies, Tim can no longer legitimately use the "they would refuse to surrender and fight to the death" justification. The babies have no ability to defend themselves and "fight to the death." They are defenseless. Thus, in the Hiroshima murders, Tim cannot use that justification anymore. The only justification he can use is that the killing of some saved the lives of some others.

No matter how Tim may protest, in Tim's world of moral relativism, the killing of babies to harvest their stem cells to save the lives of adults is not the blatantly immoral atrocity of murder. The killing of a man to take his organs to save the lives of others is not the blatantly immoral atrocity of murder. As long as some other lives are saved, the intentional killing of others (even of DEFENSELESS others) not commanded by God is not murder. And killing using this justification could go on and on. The murderous leaders of nations in the past have used this very justification. God save us from Tim's world of moral relativism.

It's soul-searching time. What of Anthony and Dominick? I think they either couldn't care less or would agree with Tim (I hope I'm wrong about this).

And how about you, Mike? This is a crossroads for you, Mike. Tim has clearly shown himself to be a moral relativist. As was my view all along, this does not have to do with the definition or nature of war (unless you want to call the slaughter of the four babies war). It has to do with the most basic level of morality: "You shall not murder." What will you do with this? Will you say that I "argue as the Pharisees"? Will you say that "It is like God does not know it is happening and He could not stop it?" Or will you stand up and denounce Tim's moral relativism? Will you take a stand, or will you hide amongst ambiguous arguments and insinuations? Now is the time to show us if you have a God-given moral compass. We will see.

Moral relativism is the tool of the devil from the pit of hell. And moral relativists are the devil's henchmen.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter


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